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Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H. W. Bush

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H. W. Bush.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Geoff Dyer(Author) Chris Steele-Perkins(Photographer)

    Book details

From a writer “whose genre-jumping refusal to be pinned down [makes him] an exemplar of our era” (NPR), a new book that confirms his power to astound readers.
As a child Geoff Dyer spent long hours making and blotchily painting model fighter planes. So the adult Dyer jumped at the chance of a residency aboard an aircraft carrier. Another Great Day at Sea chronicles Dyer’s experiences on the USS George H.W. Bush as he navigates the routines and protocols of “carrier-world,” from the elaborate choreography of the flight deck through miles of walkways and hatches to kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear. Meeting the Captain, the F-18 pilots and the dentists, experiencing everything from a man-overboard alert to the Steel Beach Party, Dyer guides us through the most AIE (acronym intensive environment) imaginable.
A lanky Englishman (could he really be both the tallest and the oldest person on the ship?) in a deeply American world, with its constant exhortations to improve, to do better, Dyer brilliantly records the daily life on board the ship, revealing it to be a prism for understanding a society where discipline and conformity, dedication and optimism, become forms of self-expression. In the process it becomes clear why Geoff Dyer has been widely praised as one of the most original—and funniest—voices in literature.
Another Great Day at Sea is the definitive work of an author whose books defy definition.

Charles McGrath," New York Times""[Dyer's] account of his stay on the ship is mostly blissful, filled with curiosity and with admiration for the crew and the dangerous, difficult work it does: repairing airplanes, flinging them up into the sky and then snagging them when they come back down again." Los Angeles Review of Books"Remarkable....the book is very, very funny, from beginning to end. It is also incredibly moving, in the way only fresh and generous writing can be.... By the end of the book Dyer can state unabashedly that he's had one of the greatest encounters of his life on this boat, and I'm right there with him.""Dyer soars for the rest of the book, which shares sea legs with David Foster Wallce's brilliant cruice-ship essay "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again."" "San Francisco Chronicle""Terrific reading . . . . And so with this generous, illuminating and very funny book, Geoff Dyer, one of the most inquisitive writers in the English language, has proven his writing chops on land "and" at sea. What's left? We need to send him to space." "New York Times Book Review""This is what I love about Geoff Dyer's work: His feet are never on the ground." "New York Observer""Very much the flipside of Wallace's most famous essay, 'A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again' . . . . "Another Great Day at Sea" is like the more expensive sequel with a punchier moral . . . . Where a lesser writer--or, it must be said, even Wallace--would keep an icy distance, Mr. Dyer becomes one of the crew members" "Chicago Tribune""Hilarious and oddball and nearly perfect, and you'll learn more than you ever thought you wanted to know about aircraft carriers . . . . I love this book." "Los Angeles Times""Dyer is to essays what Anthony Bourdain is to food." "Boston Globe""Dyer's antic, anxious, inventive mind is often fun to follow"" Portland Oregoniain""A revelation to lovers of literature, who'll learn about the military from a master stylist, and to those who love ships and planes, who'll have the pleasure of a new perspective from a great writer."""Virginian Pilot"""Dyer seems to be channeling . . . John Steinbeck . . . . The writing is loose and thin yet studded with conversational gems" "New York Magazine" "Dyer, at his best, is outstanding. He is one of our greatest living critics, not of the arts but of life itself, and one of our most original writers. . . .The essential fact about Dyer's nonfiction is that it works beautifully when it shouldn't work at all. . . .What's going on in these sentences is the fundamental business of nonfiction: the translation, at once exact and surprising, of world to word. . . .Dyer's books don't just have gorgeous throwaway moments. They "are" gorgeous throwaway moments, a series of extraordinary asides in the long sentence that is life." "Time Out New York's" "Pick Your Perfect Summer Read""If you're bobbing on the briny sea, you'll relate to the author's two weeks in the Persian Gulf and will delight in every digression about dentists and the pleasures of farting alone in one's room." "Flavorwire""The average writer would make this disparity into fish-out-of-water commentary, but Dyer starts there and then goes off into space, spinning his observations into something profound and beautiful that socks you in the gut.""The notion of installing a writer of Dyer's baroquely sensitive and self-conscious temperament aboard an American aircraft carrier stationed in the Persian Gulf is obviously a stroke of genius. . . .Thoroughly enjoyable. . . .The pleasure it delivers comes from two sources: Dyer's potent descriptive talent as he evokes the sequestered and sometimes surreal environment and society of the carrier, and the comedy he derives from his own fish-out-of-water status and high-strung personality. . . .Dyer's best is much more than good enough." "Slate""As concentratedly funny as anything he's read him for his ability to turn every topic, no matter how uncompromising, into another excellent excuse for a book by Geoff Dyer." "The Millions ""A unique and compelling stylist and a charming reporter, Dyer seems to have an absolute bang-up time on this assignment, and it's a pleasure to go along with him....What I found most remarkable about this book is that Dyer's uniform delight with everything and everybody he meets never gets monotonous." Tom Lavoie, "Shelf Awareness""Geoff Dyer is one of those writers who can't stop--he'll write about anything that catches his fancy and do it really well....This is a riveting (excuse the pun) excursion into bigness and 'endless walkways, hatches, and doorways, ' and it's totally engrossing.....Dyer goes on quite a trip and keeps us intrigued the whole way." "Publishers Weekly""An often hilarious and aphoristic, short-chaptered account written by a British essayist who is fascinated by American culture....a highly entertaining read." "Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel""Geoff Dyer deftly blends two stories into one short book: a closely observed, respectful account of life and work aboard an aircraft carrier, and the comic adventure of being 'the oldest and tallest person on ship, ' ducking and stooping his head constantly, struggling with the food and the noise of jets." "Tampa Bay Tribune""In a book where metaphors and similes could easily run wild, Dyer deploys them sparingly and to good effect....It's hard not to like a writer who can admit that, in talking to crew members about a man-overboard emergency, he comes armed 'with my knack for idiotic pleasantry, anchored in zero knowledge'....The ship's routines and drills meant there was 'never a dull moment, ' yet 'an endless succession of dull moments.' Nothing dull about Dyer, though." Jason Diamond, " Flavorwire""When Geoff Dyer wants to write about something, he gets totally into it. Be it a Russian film or yoga, Dyer's unique take on whatever situation he's focused on always yields a great book. In this latest case, Dyer finds himself on an American supercarrier, and the results are nothing short of superb."""Huffington Post"""When Dyer delves into a specific topic, he delves deeply, which is why we're looking forward to his latest exploration: what life aboard an aircraft carrier is like. As always, he laces his observations with comedy and captivating storytelling." Jay Freeman, "Booklist""Unique, interesting, and surprising . . . fascinating." Billy Collins, author of "Aimless Love""Geoff Dyer has managed to do again what he does best: insert himself into an exotic and demanding environment (sometimes, his own flat, but here, the violent wonders of an aircraft carrier) and file a report that mixes empathetic appreciation with dips into brilliant comic deflation. Welcome aboard the edifying and sometimes hilarious ship Dyer." Annie Dillard, author of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek""What could be better than weeks far away on the flat seas of the Arabian Gulf with Geoff Dyer? He is, if possible, even more witty and charming than usual. The carrier's hugeness, its crew's tireless cheer and openness, and the enormous mechanical and electrical forces at work everywhere fare wonderfully here with Dyer's unique combination of depth, irreverence and explosive humor." John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of "Pulphead""I hope one day to meet the demented genius who decided to put Geoff Dyer aboard an American aircraft carrier. The result sounds in places as if Sterne en route to his sentimental journey had paused for a week's stint on HMS "Victory." There's something like New Journalism happening but in the hands of a writer who'll suddenly flash out sentences such as, 'The sea was a prairie of glitter green.' In the end one is forced to call it "a Dyer book," which luckily for him and us is a high compliment." Steve Martin"Dyer stows himself away on an American aircraft carrier, fortunately, with all his hilarious tics in place. A rare kind of non-fiction, with sentences that keep on giving long after your eye has sailed on." Brenda Wineapple, author of" Ecstatic Nation"""Another Great Day at Sea, "Geoff Dyer's chronicle of his two weeks in residence aboard the USS "George H. W. Bush," is a tale of routine, lyricism and terror, of long hours and hard work, and of camaraderie and conviction, which are a form of faith. Original, humane, and very funny, "Another Great Day "is another great book by an incomparable writer." David Finkel, author of "Thank You for Your Service"""Another Great Day at Sea" is what we've all come to expect from Geoff Dyer--another great book. I loved everything about it. It's brilliantly observed, beautifully written, incisive, funny, and filled with stirring truths about life and the value of service." Sam Lipsyte, author of "The Fun Parts: Stories""A great day is any day you get to read Geoff Dyer, and this book is no exception. Witty, empathetic, and insatiably curious, Dyer is the perfect guide to the floating world of an American aircraft carrier. With "Another Great Day at Sea "he makes a perfect night landing on the 'postage stamp, ' with elan to spare." Tom Bissell, author of "Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation""I have read Geoff Dyer on World War I, jazz, photography, the Venice Biennale, and D. H. Lawrence, among many other subjects. It's as though his mind is slave to some unpredictable Internet browser inaccessible to the rest of us. His new book--an inimitably close study of life on an American aircraft carrier--is one of his best, funniest, and most humane yet. Geoff Dyer remains an unconventionally great writer--perhaps the most bafflingly great writer at work in the English language today."

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Review Text

  • By PeterS on 15 April 2017

    An interesting picture of life on a carrier and I wasn't too irritated with Dyer's 'flaneur' personality.

  • By Dangerfield on 5 June 2014

    This is a book about people; people in a large but confined space. For those who have visited Americans in their home country, it will come as no surprise as to how friendly and welcoming they are. Their friendliness and high hospitality to Geoff Dyer shine through the book.How accurate it is as to life and work aboard a US carrier I cannot say but minor errors on more general topics, such as calling the Mohne dam the Mona dam, leave me wondering.What I found missing was any question as to the purpose of this massive machine of war. Overall, it reads extremely easily, but then it is a light-weight subject: a closed community of friendly people.Finally, one other caveat. There are lots of us captioned photographs. I would really have liked to have known what they of; only rarely was that obvious.

  • By Purple Ink on 29 May 2014

    Geoff Dyer is one of the greatest of contemporary writers and this is perhaps his best book. It takes us on a tour of the USS George Bush, the world's largest aircraft carrier and a concentration of the American sense of duty, militarism, evangelical christianity and bad food - all things to which Dyer is opposed. But Dyer falls in love with the ship and its crew and comments on it in a way which is consistently wry, complex, funny and deep. You don't have to be interested in the navy to love this book, all you need is to like intelligence and great writing. The ebook is modestly priced for a reason - it doesn't have the full set of pictures which makes this book absolutely sublime. So it's worth shelling out for the full sum, which is a little too high nevertheless...

  • By Mr A. Noknee-Mouse on 7 May 2016

    I don't normally write book reviews as when you like something or not isn't related to any guidelines beyond spelling, punctuation and grammar. I also try not to write negative reviews unless deserved (in my view). So here goes, In my view this is not a good read, it is not funny, the book is short and expensive to purchase at the original price. In summary I would say that this is a literary "selfie", with the author placing himself and his preferences/likes/dislikes/phobias in full screen and behind his personal self portrait there is a little bit of aircraft carrier in middle distance trying to get a look in. I learnt something about life on a US Carrier, but unfortunately I learnt far too much about the author. He comes over as grasping ("I must get my own cabin and stuff everyone else"), seedy/creepy sexist, midlife crisis ("the young girl with the luminous eyes keeps looking at me") and carrying alcoholic tendencies. Most importantly he is very tall, and was educated at Oxford ("Oxford, did I tell you he was educated at Oxford"?). He comes over as a caricature journalist, irrespective of whatever awards he has won he is not a great writer. It would have been great to have an objective review of the ship and crew and not spend so much time pontificating, and self seeking. A person to avoid, both literarily and personally in my view.

  • By Michael, Hampshire, UK on 28 July 2014

    By reading this book I learnt a lot about what it is like to live on board a US aircraft carrier, and also about what it is like on board Geoff Dyer...or at least the version of Geoff Dyer he presents through these pages. In places it is very funny because Dyer is frank about the less admirable personal preoccupations and desires that many of would also admit to, if forced.I would add that your local library may have this book, so try there first. The pictures in the book are very good so the printed copy is preferable to the e-reader version.The most enjoyable and illuminating book I have read since 1922 Constellation of Genius, last summer.Constellation of Genius: 1922: Modernism and All That Jazz

  • By Passat on 9 June 2014

    This is an interesting insight into the psyche of the American military mind. It's the American psyche as seen through the perceptive eyes of a notable and internationally acclaimed writer who has exceptional literary skills and a wonderful grasp of the English language in a contemporary context.Coverage includes public health administration, substance abuse, law enforcement, sexual equality, gay rights, personal ambition (in a very American context), religion (there's a great chapter about a gospel service that is so southern black America - the author was almost seduced by it)!), differences between American and British-English social attitudes (damning about the English class distinctions and divisions, particularly in the RN, where it is worse by persisting so un-necessarily in the twenty-first century!), American life and attitudes (including dialogue, accents and language), and the American work ethic, amongst numerous other topics, all intertwined with relevant references to literature and films, etc.There's at least one section that brought a lump to my throat, and as for the succinct comparison between Bush snr and Bush jnr, it's brilliant!Another good aspect about this book is that the author maintains his impartiality and objectivity (and a great sense of humour - irony at its best), which together suggests or leads the reader to believe that in the USN at least, social equality is highly developed albeit within the constraints of a military organisation (i.e. an American nuclear powered aircraft carrier with over 5,000 people on board. In other words, small town America without the bigotry or insular narrow-mindedness). Comparisons in social hierarchy between the USN and the RN are fascinating - which is why I could never have joined the British military - and the RN in particular. But if I had been born in the USA... It would seem that in the USN you respect the individual first and what he or she can do (the track record of their skills and abilities), rather than the way it is in the RN, where you respect rank first, even if the holder is an idiot (as I've experienced when working as a civilian alongside the RN).Whilst Dyer would not have been allowed in the engine or reactor spaces, it's a surprise that he never interviewed any crew members from the marine engineering department. Furthmore, given that the ship he was on was an aircraft carrier, there are only two real mentions of aircrew; one an inconclusive interview with a female F-18 pilot and the other a superficial reference to the aircrew of one of the SAR helicopters. Whilst these are major omissions, they do not detract from the book (indeed their omission may be because of a lack of space).One important point, the subject and topics covered are not expected to be read as definitive or authoritative accounts. Nor are they claimed to be conclusive or comprehensive, but are based entirely on the author's observations, perceptions (rightly or wrongly) and interpretations. It's important to understand the context and concept of what this book is about and the series that will follow it (this is number one).The book is illustrated with a number of photographs by award winning photographer Chris Steele-Perkins, who accompanied the author during his two weeks on board.

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